SANTA CLARA – Millennials are asking the world for a little positive reinforcement in the form of more compliments. “We don’t expect compliments ALL the time,” said Jake Hemstead, age 23. “That’s what ‘Likes’ are for. But when I walk into a room I expect people to take notice of me, the same as when I’m online on social media. And when I say something good, I’d appreciate some actual Thumbs Up.”
Jen Jones, age 20, said she sometimes has trouble knowing what to think of herself. “When I was in high school, my parents used to leave me little Post-it notes all over the place, and that made me feel loved,” Jen said. “Of course, most of those notes were reminding me to do my chores, but only if I had the time after soccer practice and piano lessons. Now I long for that sort of thoughtful attention I grew so accustomed to.”
Recent Millennial college graduates are having a tough time in the job market. Dan Akita was surprised when he didn’t hear back from anyone after sending in his job application. “I completed their questionnaire and submitted my writing sample, and I expected these to be returned to me with grades, or at least some constructive comments.” Dan said. “I mean, if they’re not happy with it, they should tell me how to improve, and allow me to do a retake. And of course, give me some credit for applying.”
Some employers welcome Millennials for their tech savvy and strong multi-tasking abilities. “Millennials are good employees, as long as you remember to tell them that,” said Jennifer Huang, who runs an online T-shirt website. “Some were spending too much time on Snapchat while at work, but I put those people in charge of social media marketing, and now they’re bringing in extra sales.”
The Millennial generation has been criticized for expecting too much and not having to face the real world. “I don’t expect anything that I’m not already expecting,” said Becker Bernstein, age 27. “I get tired of this stereotype about Millennials living in their parents’ basements. First of all, I live UPstairs in the spare bedroom. Then there’s this nonsense about the ‘Real World.’ I mean, who even watches that show anymore?”
Bree Newlyn, age 25, works at Trader Joe’s, where employees are encouraged to give compliments to customers, as well as to their purchases. “It doesn’t mean we’re entitled just because we want everyone to tell us how good we are,” Newlyn said. “We aren’t any more entitled than those dark chocolate almonds that lady just bought. Those sweet morsels already know how good they are, but they still need to hear it.”
Some say the expectations of Millennials are influenced by the virtual reality they’ve grown up in. “But I live in real reality too,” said Devon Chester, age 21. “I see the reality of the world the moment I log into Facebook in the morning, until I’m chatting away in the evening. My reality is completely…oh dude, hold tight – there’s a Pokemon standing right behind you!”
Many blame over-attentive parents of Millennials for raising needy, self-interested children. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Ellen Turlington, mother of a 22-year-old. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m FaceTiming with my daughter. She needs help picking out a t-shirt at American Apparel,” Turlington said.